Preview: Indiana At New Orleans
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, January 8, 2016
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Indiana Pacers look to extend their winning streak over New Orleans to nine games when they visit the Pelicans on Friday. Indiana recorded double-digit victories in both of last season’s meetings and hasn’t lost to New Orleans since April 3, 2011.
The Pacers were slumping with six losses in nine games before recording a 95-86 road victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday and hope they are about to get on a roll. Small forward Paul George is in the midst of a torrid four-game stretch in which he has topped 30 three times while averaging 28.8 points. New Orleans continues to be a major disappointment, and coach Alvin Gentry was miffed when his team dropped a 100-91 decision on Wednesday to a Dallas Mavericks’ team resting four starters. “I wish I had answers,” Gentry told reporters. “I don’t have answers, but we’re going to come up with answers. It’s not fair to the fans. It’s not fair for anybody for us to come out and have that kind of effort. I’m really disappointed in the way we approached the game.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, FSN New Orleans
ABOUT THE PACERS (20-15): Guard Monta Ellis is playing well and scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half – including six in the final minute – in the victory over Orlando. Ellis is averaging 18 points and eight assists over the past two games and has scored in double digits in each of the last eight contests. “We like to put the ball in his hands and let him make the reads,” Indiana coach George Vogel told reporters. “He made some big shots, made some big passes.”
ABOUT THE PELICANS (11-23): Expectations were high after New Orleans won 45 games last season and made the playoffs, so the stunning collapse has been bothersome to the players as well as Gentry. “It’s frustrating for sure, but we’re going to figure it out,” standout power forward Anthony Davis told reporters. “I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s what has to happen. It should be fun trying to get out of this. We’ve got to make sure we stay positive.” Davis did his part against the Mavericks with 26 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots and has 11 double-doubles in the past 13 games.
1. The Pacers have been victorious in each of their past four visits to New Orleans.
2. Indiana swingman C.J. Miles is 6-of-23 shooting over the past three contests.
3. New Orleans SF Ryan Anderson is 6-of-24 from the field over the last two games.
PREDICTION: Pacers 102, Pelicans 97